Yes, I can! | Daily News


Yes, I can!

Royal International School, Kurunegala

Believing in a dream, a hero will rise. Perfect Prefects features Head Boy and Girl of Royal International School Kurunegala Ruwin Mapa and Dilmi De Silva, who believe that when dreams and values are entwined- that is success! Great heroes are those who persevere, who believe in themselves, who tolerate problems, work hard and who regard challenges as opportunities. Head Boy of Royal International School, Kurunegala, Ruwin Mapa is a living example of this.

Fairness is one of his qualities. Treating people equally is another one of his qualities.

“When people don’t get what they deserve and lose out on opportunities due to external constraints, it makes me want to make a difference in society. I want to change society in a way that a person is measured by the content of their character and their skills rather than judging them based on their socioeconomic background, gender, religion caste or creed. People should only be limited by their capacity and not by any other limitations put on to them by society,” said Mapa.

Pillar of strength

Right throughout his life, he has persevered and never given up. Through sheer hard work and by living by the motto – ‘Yes I Can’, with huge quantities of self- belief, he is now the Head Boy of Royal International School. But he points out that the support of his parents has been a pillar of strength during tough times. Knowing they were there for him has enabled him to fearlessly pursue his dreams.

Mapa does not overthink when it comes to facing pressure. He combats pressure by simply being organized. He will break down a task into sections and then deal with them one at a time.

As a leader, he has learnt that ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. He advocates stern action when it comes to misuse of power. Seeing the way how the elders in our society act, using their power for personal gain, he is determined to set an example of honesty and fairness to the next generation of youth.

“My message to the youth is Dream big. Don’t be afraid to have big dreams. But there’s no use in having big dreams and ideas if you do nothing to make them come true. So, take action and work hard to achieve your goals. Never abandon your dreams, once you have the right goal to start working for it and never give up. Trust me, there will be countless obstacles to prevent you from reaching your targets. I went through a lot to get to where I want to be in life. So never give up on your dreams because with the right vision and commitment nothing is impossible. Believe in yourself and never lose faith in your abilities. Always remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think,” explained Mapa.

Mapa is truly one of society’s young heroes dreaming of making a change in society for the better. A leader who believes that we all have a destiny, he feels that we must serve one another. Mapa says that Life is not just about living for yourself, your life should brighten many others and only then have you truly found the meaning of life.

Knowing current affairs is vital for any person of any age group. Apart from his duties as Head Boy, he assiduously applies himself to learning about the world we live in and also works for societies such as the Red Cross Society and the Interact Club.

Cultural renaissance

Anagarika Dharmapala is truly a great hero for Mapa. Mapa pointed out that Dharmapala was born to a wealthy family, but abandoned all his luxuries and donated them for the betterment of Buddhism and played a huge role in the cultural renaissance of Sri Lanka.

“He led by example and didn’t want any personal benefits. He sacrificed his life by speaking up and acting against the British rule at the time portraying his immense bravery. He created a difference that lasted for over a century. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest heroes and leaders this country has ever seen. There is so much to learn from him,” said Mapa.

Mapa summed things up by saying that sometimes you are required to take big leaps of faith. You should not be afraid to be unique. Try and be honest he says and does what is right.

Head Girl of Royal International School Kurunegala, Dilmi De Silva believes that you can win the world through your dreams. The power of dreams should never be dismissed. Society will tell you that you can’t. But you can! You should never give up!

Too often we are our greatest enemies. Because we doubt ourselves. We feel a dream is too BIG to pursue. We kill our dreams. But we need to believe in our dreams.

Widening gulf

Drug addiction is an issue that she is very worried about and attributes it to the fact that there is a widening gulf between parents and children.

“When innocent children get caught in illicit drugs their whole lives are ruined even before they have had the chance to realize their potential. I believe that these children and youth deserve a chance to overcome their mistakes and enjoy life as much as we do. This is where we need strong guidance from our parents and indeed from school to be able to distinguish between what is good and what is wrong for us,” said De Silva.

“We all have unique talents and skills. Use them to maintain a balance in life, accomplish your dreams and win the world. You are the boss of your own life. There might come a time in your life where you have the urge to take charge and show your potential or even inspire others to take charge. Whatever your interests or likes are, the correct decision will help your talents and capabilities to shine. Society might pressure you with all its typical norms on how things work, but stop for a moment and think whether this is what you want. Understand your hidden potential and find various ways to challenge yourself,” pointed out De Silva.

The path to becoming Head Girl was never easy for De Silva. She has made full use of the opportunities made available for her. Through this, she has discovered her various talents. She has learnt how to focus on the task and never evades a challenge knowing that some believe in her. With their encouragement, she has succeeded in becoming Head Girl. Having a conversation with them has helped her to handle pressure and in turn, it has taught her to listen to others. She calls her parents the shining lights of hope, confidence, love and inspiration all her life. Her best friend has taught her not to lose confidence.

De Silva states that it is important that we treat each other equally. We need to be careful about having preconceived notions about people. We should be careful about putting people in different categories because we all have different characters and attitudes. We need to get to know people well before labelling them. We need to try and see the world through the eyes of the person we meet.

Admirable goal

“I want to say that we are all not the same and that people are of various kinds. I believe that we need to take time to talk and understand each other before we start to create opinions. I am sure that if we do so we would be surprised at how quick we have been to judge people. We need to realize that strength lies in differences, not similarities,” explained De Silva.

Her ambition is to pursue a career in law by entering university. She also possesses the admirable goal of representing her province or country through a sport. Doing a sport is a pursuit she cherishes. Being a netball player and an athlete of the school, it has taught her life lessons (Communication skills, patience, focus and the ability to endure both victory and defeat) that will certainly take her to greater heights in the future.

“My favourite genre of books is adventure fiction. The book ‘The Alchemist’ is one of my favourites where it covers the story of a shepherd boy who travelled far to the Egyptian Pyramids just to pursue his dreams which was to find the treasure. This book will certainly inspire you to pursue your dreams with rock-solid determination no matter how many times you might fail. The most important thing that I have learnt from this book is how to march ahead in life without fearing failure; to pursue your dreams without losing hope,” said De Silva.

Both Head Boy and Girl proudly declared that Royal International School Kurunegala has allowed them to develop their leadership and personality. The school pays attention to all its students and gives every child their chance to shine. As a result, they can develop their skills and build up a strong and independent character.

In unison, they say that the school has done wonders for them.

“The teachers made sure that the hidden talents of all the students were brought out and made us creative and innovative. The school also has the required infrastructure to allow us to pursue a field of choice. We owe everything to our alma mater, its Principal and committed group of teachers for building up our character,” said Mapa and De Silva. 

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